Apr.6 - Formula 1 is now turning its focus to a more lucrative television rights deal in the United States.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali freely admits that the American market is a "massive focus" for the sport, as Las Vegas is added to an ever-expanding calendar alongside existing US-based races in Miami and Austin.

"We believe that Formula 1 simply belongs in the United States," he is quoted by Sky Deutschland.

"We want to make the American market the most important one in the sport."

F1's commercial rights are owned by US-based Liberty Media, with its CEO Greg Maffei insisting that the next piece of the jigsaw puzzle will be an American driver.

"I think with an event like the one in Las Vegas and all the other things we do in the US, it only makes it more likely that we'll have an American driver soon," he said.

Domenicali agrees that an American driver is "very important" from a "commercial point of view".

Also important is a better television deal, as the current deal with Disney-owned ESPN is apparently not as lucrative as it might be.

"This year we're on ESPN and next year we're looking for a broadcast partner," Maffei told CNBC. "We have a lot of interest.

"They (ESPN) got a very good deal because we've had a rise in popularity and they've capitalised on that as well."

He confirmed that the next US TV deal is "likely to be at a much better price for us".

At the same time, Maffei insists that Liberty Media "will not forget" that "Europe is the birthplace" of Formula 1, even if it is a "global sport today".

McLaren supremo and Californian Zak Brown, however, thinks the sport could actually survive without its flagship grand prix, with other historic mainstays like Spa-Francorchamps also in doubt.

"I would prefer Monaco to stay on the calendar, but just as the sport as a whole is bigger than any individual driver or team, it is also bigger than any individual grand prix," he told Reuters.


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7 F1 Fan comments on “F1 looking for 'better TV deal' in USA now

  1. ReallyOldRacer

    Saw a Maffei interview on a business channel yesterday. Fair warning 'muricans, pay to watch tv is in the future. This guy is a businessman, not a racer. He truly believes that gymkhanas in Miami and Vegas are the future of F1. Sad, sad, sad...sometimes I'm glad to be old and not have to live the future.

    Et tu, Zak, then kill our sport.

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  2. shroppyfly

    Sorry is that maffei?? , or mafiosi? Ha Zak...he aint so supremo now with this yrs motor, hope that google deals watermark tight, see what i did there lol

    Reply
  3. Randy

    For most in the US, F1 is on pay TV (ESPN). It isn't free to watch or stream. So, I assume ESPN or Fox will be the 2 bidders, but I wouldn't rule out Netflix (was rumors with DTS) or Amazon Prime (they love giving out buckets of money to sports).

    The biggest issue for those in the US... we've now become accustomed to a commercial free broadcast and... it will really suck to have to watch commercials again and that could impact ratings.

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    • ReallyOldRacer

      Randy, I don't know where you live. Most viewers in the US find cable a must and ESPN is generally part of the cable feed. When I say pay for view I'm talking about, as you say, Netflix. Amazon, etc. which are specialty feeds offering mostly crap and do not include any basic programming but do require relatively expensive subscriptions. I want to see F1, not the latest pablum. I'll take advertising breaks over subscriptions every time. That's why God made DVR's.

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      • Randy

        Welcome to US Sports. College Football, College Basketball, etc... Tons of small channels that are rarely part of the standard package and a lot of people bellyache about them... but also pay to get them... and have to watch ridiculous commercials (know what a 'spurtle' is... I do, sadly because watching college football C-rate networks you get weird commercials).

        Amazon: ~$150/year for the membership, with shipping and Prime Video
        Hulu/Disney+/Netflix: ~$12-$16 per month

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